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A group of committee members for Pride in Newry were attacked after closing the event on Sunday.

Homophobic abuse was hurled at the group as they made their way along Margaret Street before they were attacked in the early hours of the morning.

Police confirmed on Tuesday they were treating it as a homophobic hate crime.

In a statement, a police spokesperson said they were “aware of an altercation” at the Mall at about 02:38 BST on Sunday.

“We take all reports seriously. Where complaints are made to police they will be fully and appropriately dealt with.

“Two men sustained cuts to their face as a result. The police investigation is ongoing,” the statement added.

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw has said she is appalled and shocked to hear about the incidents.

“I and everyone else who participated in Saturday’s parade had a superb day during the event and it was great to see so many people take to the streets of Newry in order to celebrate Pride. So it was appalling to hear the contrast of several of the organisers being both verbally abused and physically attacked in what appears to be homophobic assaults.

“My thoughts are with those who were injured in this attack and their loved ones. It is outrageous that people believe such attacks are justified purely because of someone’s sexuality. The thugs behind them offer nothing to our society.”

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon said: “This attack sadly shows that prejudice still exists in some parts of society.

“Sinn Féin are committed to ending prejudice and bringing equality to all citizens across the island.

“I would encourage anyone who has information regarding the attack to contact the police.”

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